Case Studies

HUYA Delivers Improved Viewing Experience With Visionular

Esports gaming is the fastest-growing sector of sports entertainment.

Thus, it’s no surprise that the HUYA Live Broadcasting Platform streamed content to 85.1 million MAU’s for 131 esports tournaments with a total viewership of 590 million in the third quarter of 2021. Esports as a competitive category is coming into its own and this is causing the pace of growth and consumer interest to make technology innovation essential.

HUYA (NASDAQ: HUYA) is a technology-driven platform and to deliver a consistently great streaming experience they turned to Visionular’s Aurora1 AV1, and Aurora5 HEVC video encoders to stream the highest quality at the lowest bitrate.

Recently, HUYA added HDR (high dynamic range) support so users can enjoy game play as it was originally intended. This gives their users a significant advantage compared to the flatter presentation of SDR (standard dynamic range) video that is delivered by most platforms.

For the 2021 summer season, HUYA invited top professional players and well-known broadcasters from multiple live-streaming platforms in China, as well as several international teams, to compete. During this period, HUYA also hosted the World Cup for CrossFire Mobile, CrossFire HD, and Naraka Bladepoint, all of which complemented the existing content already on the HUYA platform.

But for millions of HUYA users, nothing was more exciting than the championship match on November 7th, 2021 where the EDG team from China’s LPL Division defeated DK from South Korea’s LCK Division 3-2 on the stage of the League of Legends S11 Global Finals.

Though the battle on stage was intense and exciting to watch, it is worth paying tribute to the technology and technical effort behind the live broadcast platform that enabled this contest to be streamed in better than broadcast quality and without interruption or freezing.

The Visionular and HUYA teams had three primary objectives that the system was built to address.

Bitrate should be as low as possible while maintaining superior visual quality so that viewers can watch the game without freezing or re-buffering events.

For live broadcasts of large game events such as S11, it is critical to encode the video with the lowest latency possible and this tests the encoding efficiency and performance of the encoder. Using the AI power that is resident in the Visionular Aurora Intelligent Encoding Engine, the source contribution feed was encoded into a highly efficient video stream that provided viewers with a live event experience that was very close to real-time.

Picture quality should be near-lossless, reproducing the image as if the viewer was in the stadium. 

Ordinary encoders exhibit problems such as artifacts and color distortion due to poor low bitrate performance. The unique technology of the Visionular Aurora Intelligent Encoding Engines ensures that image quality is preserved even when the bitrate is reduced by fifty percent. The S11 UHD live broadcast experience showed users what’s possible when the best encoding technology and solutions are applied to a live event streaming workflow.

10-bit encoding for HDR and real-life quality.

8-bit video color depth allows a display to show 16.58 million color units. 10-bit video enables a display to show more than 1 billion color units. This difference is extremely noticeable by viewers since 10-bit expresses more delicate color detail than 8-bit.

For videos with different color depths (bits), the computational complexity of the encoder is also different, and the computational complexity of 10-bit video is higher than that of 8-bit video.

The Visionular Aurora Intelligent Encoding Engines provide maximum coding efficiency while supporting 10-bit coding, to save computing resources, produce better picture quality with real-life color presentation while using 30-50% fewer bits.

As a leader in esports and live events broadcasting, HUYA maintains the spirit of innovation, constantly conceiving new ideas and creating breakthrough live broadcast solutions. Visionular as a video technology expert is committed to bringing massive technology advantages to our partners.

We are happy to be partnering with HUYA to jointly create the future of live broadcast video streaming.

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